Something More Significant

Published: 01.14.2012

Looking back two years to 2010, I can now say it had been a year of changes. Not that 2011 was uneventful, but 2010 made a big mark on my life.

I had been living in NYC for 8 years at the time, and working in the fashion industry, which I loved, but still, I felt that something was missing in my life. I’d been simmering with this feeling for two years, looking around for inspiration, waiting for an idea to ‘hit me’… not for the next big design, but for the next step in my life.
In the summer of 2010, I dropped everything and traveled to India. I know it sounds romantic, spiritual or maybe even naive, but I knew I’d be able to clear my head and find what I was looking for.
My “revelation” began to unfold as I reached Dharamsala, a city in the north of India, the home of the current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, and the exiled Tibetan government. During my visit to the city I came across the Tibetan Children’s Village, home to Tibetan children whose parents are either deceased, missing or left behind in Tibet. The village provides the children with a loving and nurturing environment as well as Tibetan education and values.
Meeting the children and the dedicated staff at the village was a turning point for me – this was something more significant… 
A 10 days meditation retreat I participated in later that week made it all very clear, and an idea was born: fashion featuring children's drawings on clothes that I design. This gives the kids a voice and a sense of worth. It shows them that they are talented and have so much to offer to the world. From the sales, I would donate back to those beautiful artists. 
As I traveled through India, I had been overwhelmed by the contradiction between its inspiring beauty and its people’s staggering poverty. Still… they somehow complemented each other - India’s philosophical and insightful influence wouldn’t have been the same without its people, rich and poor. 
This paradox inspired me to see fashion not as a race after trends and symbols, but as an educational tool for a meaningful lifestyle. Through fashion, I can achieve that something more significant that I was looking for.
A second meditation retreat that I participated in cleared the rest of the fog, and helped me focus on the path I planned to take. The retreat took place at the Root Institute in Bodhgaya, one of the poorest regions in India. The institute sponsors the Tara Children’s Project, a unique project taking care of children affected by HIV. 
I contacted TCP immediately after the retreat, and asked if they would like to participate in my project. Thankfully they loved the idea and the kids made amazing paintings for me. That’s where it all came together – fashion, children, drawings, social value – they were all adding up!
I started working on "my new baby" – Kids for Kids, a company that operates with the community in mind. And since we all live in a global village in which our community is the size of our planet, the children in this community are all our responsibility.
Together, with you, we are drawing a brighter future!
** I currently work with little artists from the Tara Children’s Project, India and an organization from Swaziland, Africa called Gone Rural. I hope to expand and work with many other organizations and their kids in the near future.
Tara Children's Project – Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India – supported by Root Institute. 
Taking care of HIV affected children and orphans since 2008, aiming to support and educate them and normalize their daily routine.
Gone Rural boMake – Swaziland – supported by Gone Rural.
A non-profit organization founded in 2006. Committed to make a sustainable impact in rural Swaziland communities by bringing wellness, education and community development services.